Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chicken Empanadas

Olive Oil
One small onion, chopped
One jalapenos, chopped
One teaspoon chopped garlic
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 chicken breasts shredded (cooked in water with onion, celery, cilantro, peppercorn, salt)
Mexican blend cheese (I used Kraft)
4 oz. cream cheese
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 egg, beaten
Flour, for dusting
1 package pie crust

Chilli Lime dipping sauce (recipe follows)
3 tablespoon Greek yogurt
Half of lemon juice

Empanadas method:

  1. Saute onion, jalapeno and garlic with olive oil for 5-8 minutes
  2. In a bowl, mix shredded chicken, cheese, cream cheese, onion mixture, green onion, salt and black pepper, hot sauce and mix it well
  3. Roll pie crust on a kitchen countertop with some flour and roll it about 13” wide
  4. Take wide bowl (about 8” wide) and put face down on a crust and run a knife around the bowl to cut a round shape. Make as many small rounds you can with crust
  5. Fill chicken mixture in the center of each round and brush egg around the edges
  6. Seal the edges, lightly press on the middle to remove any air, then press with a fork
  7. Arrange each empanadas on a non-stick tray and put it in oven for 25 minutes under 375 degrees

Chilli lime dipping sauce method:
Mix greek yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest and hot sauce in a small bowl. Serve with empanadas.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Basil coulis

Basil coulis

So versatile, can be used to top anything... like your bruchetta, spread in a sandwich, vegetable dip, cheese dip... its your spread on- dip-in...thing :)  (Try it with some tomato soup so yum)

When anyone asks "Whats the green stuff?"  You'll sound so fancy saying, "Oh just a basil coulis"  

Basil coulis
- bunch basil
- 3 green chilies (jalepinos work well, remove seeds)
- garlic
- cumin
- salt
- black pepper
- oil
- lemon

All in a blender until smooth.  
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HEARTy Tomato soup

the all-season favorite, tomato soup.  When i was growing up, I still remember, this was one of my favorite meals my mom made for us.  She made this while raising us in India for a few years.  All three of us, 2 girls + 1 boy, were born in India (aka #fob).  What is that you ask? Its the term often referred by foreign born Asian kids lol; stands for fresh-off-the boat.  I suppose it applies to anyone born outside of their current resident country.  In fact, I'd say it applies to non-Asians the most, since many of "those" generations did travel via boats.  {PS Sterotyping and air quotes are fun, lol I digress.}  Most of us Asians actually traveled via airplanes in the 80s & 90s...soo we would be FOAs?  I do wish they'd serve simple soups on airplanes... like the very simple tomato soup.  Good transitions, huh? :)  Here's my mom's recipe with a twist of Americano

Here are the ingredients and method:

- 5-6 tomatoes on the vine (some recipes call for canned tomatoes, and thats fine too)
- 5 TBS of grated garlic
- 1 small onion, rough chopped
- cumin
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 slides of sour dough bread
- bunch cilantro (If cilantro is not your thing, sub it with basil)
- oil (any vegetable oil)
- salt
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- 3 cups water (or vegetable or chicken broth)

1) cut tomatoes in halves, core out the guts and put aside. Coat tomatoes in 1-2 TBS of oil and 1 TBS of grated garlic in a roasting pan... roast for ~10 mins in 400degrees
2) roughly chop or break sour dough bread and cilantro (need about 3 TBS of chopped cilantro)
3) Grab a sauce pan, melt butter over low it melts, add cumin, 3 TBS garlic, chopped cilantro, , onions, broken sour dough bread, and the tomato guts.. coat and stir.. let it all marinate over low low heat
4) As the base is cooking in the sauce pan... grab your high power blender... make your basil coulis drizzle
5) Tomatos should be done from the oven... add them to the sauce pan with 3 cups of water...
6) Stir it all together... Ready to work out your biceps? Grab your hand blender and blend away, until you've reached desired consistency. {You can also use your blender jug}
7) Let it cook some more, add salt, crushed black pepper to your taste

Serve warm with a piece of toast + basil coulee drizzle
Freeze the left overs.  Refrigerate left over basil coulee and use it top your bruchetta!
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peach Bellini

Celebrate something special with an elegant peach Bellini. Juicy yellow peaches are pureed and then served with chilled champagne


I cup sugar
One 1-pound bag frozen or canned peaches
Zest of 1 lemon
Champagne or sparkling wine, for serving


Make a simple syrup by adding the sugar and 1/2 cup water to a saucepan and heating over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to another container and allow to cool completely in the fridge.

In a blender, add the peaches, lemon zest and cold simple syrup until smooth.
Refrigerate the mixture until time to serve.

To serve, pour some puree into a champagne flute (approx a quarter - to halfway) and top off with very cold champagne or sparkling wine.

Note: For a virgin drink, replace the alcohol with soda water.

Enjoy this refreshing but very sophisticated drink!

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Monday, March 31, 2014



1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
¼ of a bunch of fresh oregano
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
10 garlic cloves
1 jalapeƱo or 3 searno pepper or Red pepper flakes to taste
½ cup plus extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp Salt and black pepper (to taste)
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Spinach and Avocado Panini

Ripe avocado – you won’t need the whole if you’re making just one sandwich.
Handful of baby spinach
American cheese
Goat cheese (mine had olives in it)
Rye bread
Panini press

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

24th Meeting: Soups and Sandwich

Soups and sandwich are one of my favorite meals. Besides it being the best day of work week, my coworkers and I get soup on Fridays. We even have coined “Soup Fridays” at work. There is nothing like a nice hearty soup on a cold winter day. And even though it’s officially spring we can still enjoy soups for then next month or so. 

Vaishali hosted the exchange at her brand new house this time. The house is tucked away from the main street and is surrounded by trees. I will have to convince her to have another exchange with soups and sandwiches in the fall, while we sit out on her patio enjoying the outdoor fire place and just taking in the beautiful foliage that is bound to be present.  She served us homemade bellini. Jalpa served us homemade tomato soup with a spin; you’ll read her recipe to see what she did different than traditional tomato soup recipes. Nishal made these delicious Vietnamese sandwiches. I have to say that was the first time I had any sort of Vietnamese food. I’m glad my first experience was a pleasant one.  I made these vegetarian paninis that I have been dying to make – thank you Pinterest!  We ended the evening with Parul’s three different kinds of cookie (from scratch) sandwiches – yum! 

I am so looking forward to our next meeting – Tapas!
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